From Dr. Jane's Notebook

The Loss of a Pet

I lost my best friend, Zeke, this week. Zeke was my Australian Shepherd. For 10 years, he was my companion, my protector, my exercise enthusiast, my loyal and loving dog. He's irreplaceable to me now, just as I was always irreplaceable to him. What words can express the sadness and loss when you lose a furry family member long before his time?

In the effort to heal, create some sort of ceremony for the funeral. Funerals can be family affairs or private moments. In our family, pictures are treasures and more than one collage has been created as a mourning exercise. Recently, a lock of Zeke's hair was buried in the woods of Lake Brandt, one of our favorite hiking spots.

At the time of this writting, I've written more than 80 articles for the Hamburger Square Post over the past seven years. This is perhaps the most difficult and painful subject, to date. Its like the song, "Mister Bojangles". I still can't get past the line where Bojangles talks "how his dog and him travelled about... dog up and died...after twenty years he still grieves."

This summer when we were out of town, Zeke defended our house against a burglar and saved us from a break-in. To anyone who questions the value of loving an animal... The question is not a matter of how much it costs to have dogs, but the recognition of how much they give us in return. Thank you, Zeke.

ęCopyright, 1992, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated October 25, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.